Alabama Football’s Unsung Hero

Jeff Allen
Head Athletic Trainer

The Role of an Athletic Trainer

Many times, the secrets to winning are not seen or heard from in the public eye. Instead, they are often found behind the scenes preparing individuals to be at their best when their best is needed.


This week’s episode of The Secrets to Winning peels back the curtain on college football’s premier program to talk to its unsung hero. That person is Jeff Allen, Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine at The University of Alabama. He’s the person the players either can’t wait to see or never want anything to do with.


Known as one of the most respected athletic trainers in the entire country, Allen was honored with the 2018 Division I Head Athletic Trainer of the Year Award for his work during the 2018 season that saw several players return to the field from serious injuries in time for the playoff and national championship game. What makes Jeff so special and successful is that he knows exactly what it takes to manage the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of his athletes.


Jeff also has an entrepreneurial spirit to him, as well. If you have watched any college or professional football game in the last year, you see a large tent pop-up on the sideline when a player is injured. That is the brainchild of Jeff Allen, and it has completely changed the way that injured players are cared for by medical professionals.


During this episode, Jeff discusses his journey, the role of an athletic trainer in an athlete’s life, how to be most effective in dealing with coaches, and communication within an organization.


03:55 – The Medical Care of Athletes: Past vs. Present

05:00 – Utilizing Athletic Training to Prevent Injury

06:30 – The Health of Your Team Depends on the Health of Your Players

07:30 – Establishing Trust with Athletes is #1 Key

09:10 – Communication with Coaches & Staff

10:50 – Most Critical Advice for Young Practitioners

12:30 – Jeff’s Mentor & How that Evolved His Process

14:00 – Intensity of a Game Day

16:00 – Innovation in Athlete Medical Care: The Sideline Tent

17:30 – An Athlete’s Level of Fear Immediately After Injury

21:30 – Balancing the Student-Athlete Time Demands

23:40 – How Nick Saban Makes Jeff a Better Athletic Trainer

This is a medical profession. Anything you do in medicine, you need to make sure you love to serve other people. At the heart of what we do is the people we care for.

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